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Thursday, April 30, 2009

Funny JMonster

I have put an area in the sidebar where I list some of the funny things JMonster says to us. It would be way too full if I listed them all, but when one sticks in my mind I add it.

Tonight JMonster cracked me up at dinner! I thought I'd share:

We were sitting at the table finishing up our dinner. JMonster was just about finished and had taken his fork and put it in his mouth, where he kept playing with it and acting like he was biting it. Remember, he injured his teeth last week and isn't supposed to knock them or eat hard foods so biting on the fork was a big no no!

"JMonster, stop that. If you bite on that fork you might knock your teeth out."

"Mommy, if I knock my teeth out...will that make my brain come out?"

I have to admit I almost fell out of my chair laughing. Only my child...

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Hollywood dirt

So I'm not one to usually follow the Hollywood scene, but Tim McGraw and Sandra Bullock are filming a movie in the parking lot of our church. The parking lot of JMonster's preschool. RIGHT THERE!

The Blind Side" is based on Michael Lewis' best-selling book, "The Blind Side: Evolution of the Game". Inspired by the true story of Michael Oher, it follows a homeless African-American teenager who befriends a wealthy family and grows up to be an offensive lineman for the Ole Miss football team. This 20th Century Fox movie is penned and directed by John Lee Hancock for a 2011 release.

Kinda cool! A movie being made right here in our own "backyard"!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Am I Wrong?

These are things I have on my mind, but am open and willing to hear "the other side" of (so long as you are thoughtful and direct your argument at the topic and not at me...or at any other commentator.)

Am I wrong that...
1. If someone is so inclined to be against torturing terrorists to get information that will save 1, 100, 1000's or more people, that those same people would be inclined to be against the torturing of innocent babies (in utero or having just survived a botched abortion.). Hmmmm...

Am I wrong that...
2. If someone is here in the US working, and that work helps our economy, that it is possible for them to get a visa to do that work rather than be here illegally?

Am I wrong that...
3. If someone is a huge supporter of taxes for public assistance programs, shouldn't they put their money where their mouth is? If you think that the best organization for public welfare is the government, check that little box on your tax return and give even more money than is required. And stop looking for tax deductions or credits to put on your return!

Am I wrong that...
4. Adoption has become an elitist opportunity and we need major reform? It's sad that an adoption agency can keep all moneys paid by a couple...even if the couple doesn't adopt a baby because the birth mother or father backed out. It's also sad that it costs, in most cases, around $30,000. There are too many wonderful children waiting for families for this to be the case!

Am I wrong that...
5. Those of us that are in the "middle class" of the US are still being hit hard? How many of my friends and neighbors have lost their jobs in the last few months? Way too many.

Am I wrong that...
6. Owning a home is a privilege, not a right? Having a safe place to live is a right, owning it is another story.

Am I wrong that...
7. Many people that are considered lower income families wear more name brand clothes than I do? And own more electronics? Misplaced priorities?

Am I wrong that...
8. If someone comes into the country from another country where there is widespread disease (SWINE FLU!) they should be quarantined for the duration of the incubation period?

Am I wrong that...
9. More and more parents are failing at disciplining their children, mostly because they don't want their kids to not like them?

And finally, Am I wrong that...
10. Blogging is a fun and therapeutic way to interact with others! Especially if they leave comments!

So tell me, am I wrong?

Monday, April 27, 2009

Missional Monday

Today is my teeth cleaning day. Not sure how I feel about visiting a dentist so close to JMonster's little accident, but in honor of both dental visits I thought I'd choose an organization that does dental work for those people that can't afford to pay for it themselves. (Whew, was that a run-on, or what!?!)

Today's Missional Monday organization is:
Good Samaritan Health Center (Atlanta)

Good Samaritan Health Center is a non-profit healthcare practice that provides a comprehensive range of services for patients without health insurance or the means to afford care. As a Christ-centered ministry, we fulfill our mission by spreading Christ's love through quality healthcare to those in need.

We welcome patients of all religions, races, creeds, national origins, gender or age.

They not only do dental care, they do: medical care, counseling, social services, and health education.

Please take some time and check out this wonderful organization! See if their mission can help you match your passion with your purpose.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Way down yonder on the Hattahoochee

I know! I know! It's Chattahoochee. But, I swear it sounds so much cuter when JMonster says, "Look Mommy! It's the Hattahoochee River!" I can't bring myself to correct him.

Yesterday, The Rev, JMonster, and I took an evening picnic along the banks of the Chattahoochee River here in Atlanta. Here are some pics of our hike.

"SNAKE!" (Not really.)

Friday, April 24, 2009

8 Things...

Tagged again... thanks Baloney!
Still not used to this pre-programmed blog stuff, so bear with me! And remember, none of these lists are in any particular order.

Here's how to do this 8 THINGS thing:
- Mention the person that tagged you.
- Complete the lists of 8's.
- Tag 8 of your wonderful bloggy friends. (I will be tagging only 2. I don't know many bloggy friends and Baloney tagged one of the few I do. So, I'm breaking the chain! I'm thinking the new rules of all of these should be tag ONE person and not until you feel it is time someone needs to be tagged.) ;o)
- Go tell them you tagged them!

1. The Rev coming home every evening.
2. Talking with my sisters on the phone.
4. Weekends!!!
5. Comments on my blog.
6. Ice cream after JMonster goes to bed.
7. Reading a great book. (Okay, it doesn't have to be THAT great. Just good will suffice!)
8. A wonderful can be beach, mountains, whatever, as long as it is active!

1. Took JMonster to the dentist to get his newly almost knocked out front teeth checked.
2. Skipped school to avoid said teeth from being disturbed at all.
3. Went to grocery store to get soft foods. See #'s 1 and 2.
4. Watched the 1967 version of Dr. Dolittle. It was great by the way!
5. Messed around on the computer.
6. Went to our neighbors to distract JMonster from his teeth. Had a great visit!
7. Tutored a student in Physical Science.
8. Sat through a storm that dropped a mix of small up to golf ball size hail on our house and The Rev's car!

1. Be in more than one place at a time.
2. Make enough money for us to live and give without having to work. :o) Not that I really work, but I wouldn't want The Rev to have to, either!
3. Get pregnant easier. Not too easily, mind you...just easier.
4. Let go of things from the past so that I learn the lessons from them but have no actual memory of them. I'd want to choose what to eliminate, though!
5. Be more like Jesus in ALL that I do.
6. Only have to sleep whenever I feel like it. Not have it be a biological need.
7. Eat whatever I want without it affecting my cholesterol. Darn genetics!
8. Create world peace. Trite, but true.

1. The Mentalist
2. The Closer
3. Psych
4. Lost
6. Bones
7. American Idol
8. Chuck

1. Random Ramblings
2. Kaleb & Jackie's World
3. YOU! Even if you are not listed by name, you've been tagged. :o)

Hope you enjoyed!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Weather in the ATL!

A huge storm blew through this evening, dropping a mix of small and just bigger than small hail on our home. Nothing like Texas, but still a storm nonetheless!

The view from our front porch.

The front yard.

A back flower bed.

Trauma Drama in the Swizz Household

Yesterday evening was one of those times you wish you could have a take-back on. A do-over like when we were kids.

JMonster was racing around the house pushing his Speed Racer car, with a small plastic spiderman driving. As he was racing the spiderman somehow came out of the car and got lodged under the car, causing the car to come to an instant stand still. JMonster didn't. He flew over the top of the car and stopped himself on the hardwood floor with his face. His mouth to be exact.

A relative who was visiting us at the time was sitting right next to where JMonster fell. She and The Rev both jumped up yelling, "Oh No!" and she grabbed him up in a bear hug. Two things told me this was bad. The Rev yelling something other than, "You're Okay!" which is his standard response to minor injury, and Patty saying anything at all. You see, Patty is a pediatrician...and a mother of 5. She's used to these types of things.

After careful inspection we realized that JMonster had: bonked his nose, but it was barely bleeding. Split his lip, which was bleeding but not gushing. And knocked his two front teeth loose. One of which was VERY loose and causing me more than a little bit of panic.

Don't panic...that's orange popsicle on his chin! Do notice the dark purple around his gum lines...that's BAD.

Patty suggested we call his dentist (Thank God for Dr. Bates!), so I did. She calmed me down and told me all would be well and to bring him in before her office opened in the morning.

We had a wonderful visit with her this morning. The x-rays showed a slight fracture above the gumline on the loosest tooth, but Dr. Bates thinks his teeth will heal nicely and all will be well. We have to watch them closely, feed him soft foods for a week, and keep him from knocking those teeth any looser.

I still have a pit in the bottom of my stomach. I'm not one that tends to panic or over-react (The Rev was very calm and took control...Go Rev!) , but this one was just a little too much for me. It involved teeth, and for whatever reason (call it vanity, call it pride...) teeth are just one of those things that make me nervous. I've always worried I'd hit my mouth and knock a tooth out. Or that JMonster would do the same.

Hmmmm...maybe this is another small lesson in letting go.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


A friend of mine had this on his facebook account this afternoon:

What would you do if you were declared by a subjective Q&A to be unable to take your newborn baby from the hospital?

So I went to Ron Paul's site and read what he had to say. And then I went to the government website and read HR20.

I don't see ANYWHERE in the HR20 where a mother will be asked a subjective Q&A. And if they were, I'm not sure I'd object.

Questions like: "Do you feel you could hurt your baby, on purpose, if you took them home?" seem straightforward and justifiable for delaying sending the infant home.

I do have some issues with some of the wording in the bill. I believe in supporting issues, but think that non-profit organizations are far better equipped to handle the day to day research and management of specific issues. And although some of these funds will go to non-profits, my fear is that an already burdened oversized Department of Health and Human Services will end up taking on the oversight of these programs and is this just one more step in our process toward universal healthcare?

What do you think?

Twins, Infertility, and Cloning

On my brother's site they are discussing cloning and what is wrong with it.

What is Wrong with Cloning? Seriously.

Allahpundit asks:

What’s the problem? They’re no more genetically related than identical twins. In fact, they’re less related, since they’re being carried to term by a different mother, which means they have different mitochondrial DNA.

I’ve wondered the same thing for some time. Having the same genes does not make two people the same, and people who know identical twins know this better than most. I have three sisters, two of whom are identical twins (and one of those has a blog!). I can tell you that they are very different people.

I can see issues with genetic engineering, but I’m not particularly freaked out by them. I note that Allahpundit (who also isn’t bothered) is an athiest, and I’m an agnostic. Is this a religious thing?

A few weeks ago I mentioned that I have an identical twin and that my identical twin (M), our younger sister (H) and I have all had infertility issues. There are multiple IUI and IVF babies in our broods; two sets of fraternal twins, and only one of the babies born to the 3 of us was conceived "naturally".

When infertility treatments first started, people began asking if those babies conceived in a test tube would have souls. Of COURSE they do. The same as my twin sister and I do. We LOOK alike (see below) but are not the same people.

My identical twin, M.

Swizz...and yes, that is a head growing out of my neck. :o)

The same questions are being asked, now, about babies that are cloned. To me, a silly question, but to some a real moral dilemma.

The problems with cloning, as I see them, are:
1. The first humans that are cloned, even if lots of research is first done on animals, are likely to have some "issues" to deal with. Short life span only being one possibility. Is that fair to the person "created"?
2. Like sperm and egg donor legal problems, there will be even more legal problems with whose child was conceived. And how confusing will this be for the child?
3. "Creating" a baby, just for the sake of saving another human (harvesting of tissues and organs). Once that baby is conceived, they are a human in their own rights and deserve to have those rights protected...not abused for the sake of someone else.
4. Genetic issues. It's not a proven fact, but they have linked a higher incidence of genetic anomalies with IVF. How much more would there be with cloning? Should this keep us from doing it? (I can't say this has stopped ME from using IVF.)

Just a side note, what would we call these babies? I've always said "JMonster was an IVF baby." Just curious!

I'd love to hear what you folks think! Please keep all conversation civil and based on topic...not aimed at another commentator.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Mama said there would be days like this...

Sometimes, the only way to beat to join em.
Today is one of those days.

Crying with laughter

Monday, April 20, 2009

Missional Monday

One of my ALL-TIME favorite non-profit organizations is St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.  For JMonster's first birthday we put a bowl and a sign out at his party asking for donations to this wonderful organization.  Every time I read a story of one of St. Jude's kiddos, I cry and then pray that we will never have to use their wonderful hospital.

To this day, it amazes me that St. Jude NEVER asks a patient or their family for one penny.  Everything is free, beyond what insurance or medicaid covers.

Catie’s final wish gives hope to other children

Seven-year-old Catie passed away on January 25, 2009, surrounded by her family. She died of an aggressive form of cancer called atypical teratoid rhabdoid tumor (ATRT). Because of the location in the spine rather than the brain, doctors determined that Catie’s diagnosis was especially rare, and she was referred to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital for treatment. 

St. Jude doctors and nurses went to work, using every tool they had to eradicate Catie’s cancer and to care for her as if she were their own child. Catie underwent 31 radiation treatments, as well as high-dose chemotherapy and a progenitor cell transplant following each round of chemotherapy—but unfortunately her tumor returned. 

When it was clear nothing more could be done to cure Catie, her family decided with heavy hearts—and Catie’s blessing—to stop treatment in December 2008. Catie went home to spend Christmas and the time that remained with her family.

On her last day at the hospital, Catie had pictures taken in the chapel. She wore her First Holy Communion dress. She visited her doctors and nurses to give them gifts and to thank them for all they had done for her. Then she said goodbye.

Back home in Pennsylvania, she cherished the time with her family. She used a wheelchair because she could no longer walk. Soon, her sight failed and she was blind.

Knowing we would not be able to save her life, Catie wanted to help St. Jude save the lives of other children who are battling pediatric cancer. So when discussion turned to what Catie might want as her final wish, Catie’s mother expected her to wish for something for herself. A special toy, a dream vacation … the sky was the limit.

But after a month of thinking, Catie came to her mother and said she had decided she wanted to help other children and families, just as St. Jude had helped her. She said she wanted to raise enough money to run St. Jude all day on April 23—her eighth birthday. 

Taken aback, Catie’s mother explained that it costs $1.4 million to run St. Jude each day. And at that moment, Catie’s seven years shone innocently through.

“Is that a lot of money?” asked Catie.

She decided she wanted everyone to give to St. Jude in honor of her eighth birthday until the donations reached that magic $1.4 million mark. She also hoped that everyone would color April 23 purple on their calendar because purple was her favorite color, and she wanted to be remembered.

It would be a mistake to think of Catie as a saint while she was alive—she was a real-life kid who loved playing with her sisters and brother. But Catie’s legacy speaks volumes about her loving and unselfish nature. Even at 7 years old, knowing she could not be cured, she believed St. Jude provides something very important—research and treatment for the worst diseases that affect children.

Catie’s story could break your heart, but her parents hope it won’t. They want something very good to come from Catie’s story and from her final wish. 

Inherent in Catie’s birthday wish is so much hope—she envisioned a world without pediatric cancer. She told her doctors she was going to raise enough money to help cure pediatric cancer and put them out of a job. She believed we would get there some day.

Please take some time and check out this wonderful organization on their website! See if their mission can help you match your passion with your purpose.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Science Experiment

A few weeks back I wrote about taking JMonster to the Georgia Aquarium. It was a fun trip, which we commemorated with the purchasing of a small penguin. This penguin was unique, however...if you put it in water it grows to 600% of its original body size! We put it in water and have been taking pictures these past few weeks to document its growth.

Sit back and enjoy, the growth of the penguin.

He now has a dolphin sharing his tank...JMonster got a 3 day dolphin in his Easter basket.

Now we have a giant penguin! Not quite the 600% we expected, but still a ton of fun.

Friday, April 17, 2009

My faults, evaluated by me

I thought it would be fun interesting to take a look at myself and see if I can really take an account of my introspective view of my faults.  I'm big on lists, so sit back, get yourself a cup of coffee, and come peruse my closet of imperfections!

1.  It's funny how the little things that other people do annoy me, but I can't quite understand why someone else would EVER be annoyed with me.  I tend to be very hard on myself, and yet I give myself the benefit of the doubt much more than I do for others.

2.  I wear my emotions on my sleeves, typically, which is a bad thing for those of us that tend to care too much.  If you want to know how I'm feeling you can generally look at my face and know (almost always!) exactly what my emotional status is.  This isn't necessarily bad all the time, you know transparency and all, but can be in professional settings.  I've been known to cry in front of a boss.  In fact, if you make me angry...I mean REALLY angry, it makes me cry.  Every time.

3.  Lately I've been wondering if it is possible to care too much, and I've decided that YES, it is possible to care too much.  In my opinion, this is another form of selfishness.  For example, it is wonderful for me to care for and care about JMonster, but when I am caring for his EVERY need and caring about (worrying) about every move he makes and how it will affect me (don't you DARE lean back in that chair because you might fall and hurt yourself and if it's bad enough I might lose you and)...that crosses over into selfish.

4.  I use the royal "we" when I discuss myself.  My husband constantly asks me who WE is and if I have a mouse in my pocket.  Guess I get that from being a twin!

5.  I NEED organization in my life, but I HATE to clean!  I love to organize, though.  If I were rolling in dough my house would be the most organized place on the planet.

6.  There are certain times of the month that I become highly irritable.  Really.  No, it is true!

7.  I am sound and smell sensitive.  I have some of the most sensitive ears and nose that I know.  Sometimes I'm hard of hearing because of it...I can't filter out background noise in order to hear what I'm really wanting to focus on.

8.  It's hard for me to forgive myself.  Well, maybe not forgive, but to really forget.  It would be nice to move past old "sins" and not have them hiding back there in the shadows of my attic (brain).

9.  Paranoia.  I have paranoia.  If you stop talking when I walk up, I think you must have been talking about me.  If you don't call me for a few days, I think you must hate me.  If you look at me funny, I fear I have a booger in my nose or my breath is horrible.  Very egocentric.  Not sure how to get past this one, though!

10.  I can't stand to be late, but even more than that I hate being early.  I have this horrible affliction where I try and time everything to the exact minute.  It usually works, but I never leave room for contingency.  Like traffic.  Or a 3 year old needing to go to the bathroom, or...

11.  I feel the need to regurgitate my whole day to The Rev as soon as he walks in the door from work.  Never mind that HE has been working all day!  (Thus, the blog, which is one way I'm attempting to fix this particular issue.)

12.  Everyone is my responsibility and if you are not: happy, doing well in school, healthy, socially engaged, fill in the blank___________ IT IS MY FAULT.  I get a pit in my stomach thinking I didn't help someone as much as I should have or could have.  And since I'm laying it all out on the line...I feel overly responsible for The Rev.  What he eats, if he works's NOT my responsibility, but I feel like it is.

13.  Television has shown me that I am too emotionally involved in everything I do.  If someone on a show is in trouble, my heart will race and  I become tense until they are okay.  This has led me to purge any and all news from my TV schedule.  I can't handle the fires, homicides, kidnappings, shootings, etc...that goes on in a big city like Atlanta.  Imagine what my blood pressure would be!

14.  I am HORRIBLE about keeping up with people.  The Rev is EXCELLENT at this.  If someone is out of sight, they are almost out of mind.  I wish this weren't true, but it is.  Facebook is helping this a ton, though.

15.  You're in trouble?  I'll do anything to help you.  I can be a GREAT mama bear!  I'm in trouble or need help?  Very rarely will I stick up for myself or do anything that is solely beneficial to me.

16.  I cannot tell a lie.  Maybe a small white one to keep from hurting your feelings, but (and this goes back to the wearing my emotions on my sleeve) if I had to save myself by telling a whopper...well, just remember I want to be cremated and not buried!

17.  And finally, I am an introvert.  Not a bad thing in and of itself, but this leads me to be a bit of a homebody unless others draw me out.  The bad part is relying on others for my socialization!

There you have it, folks!  The ugly that festers inside of Swizz.  I'm sure there's more...God knows there is, and I'm eternally grateful that all of them are forgiven by grace...

What are YOUR faults? ;o)

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Tea Parties

Have you ever been to a tea party?  I can't say I have, but I have been to a tea house.  Dainty sandwiches, fruit and veggies, and of course petit fours and small cookies.  Mmmmm...

I first heard about today's "Tea Parties" just 2 days ago.  I know!  I know!  I live with my head in a sandbox!  I would love to say I'm a well-informed wife and mother, but to tell the truth I'm more likely to know what the exact cost of a grocery item is than what is going on in current events.  A sad state of affairs, I admit, but it is too true.

So I heard about these Tea Party events and looked up the one here in Atlanta.  Here is what they said...
The Atlanta Tax Day Tea Party is one of the hundreds of the Nationwide Tax Day Tea Party Protests. These Tea Parties started as a way to express outrage over stimulus spending, special projects or "Pork Projects," and increased taxes. Currently, there are over 500 Tax Day Tea Parties planned across the country on April 15th.

In Atlanta, the demonstration will begin at 7:00 pm in front of the Steps on the State Capitol.

Sounds good, except...I have a 3 year old. At 7:00 pm I need him to be in his jammies and getting ready for bed. And I hate to admit I cannot afford to hire a sitter for an event like this, but we can't. Not with The Rev going out on his own right now. Not with the economy like it is. Catch 22, right? I need to support this effort, but I can't afford to be there!

I'm wondering what others think about this Tea Party idea! Did you attend one? What did you think? How are they going to affect what we do in the future?

And finally, can these Tea Parties bring about more knowledge of The Fair Tax? Now THAT would be a worthwhile outcome!

Tell me what YOU think about these Tea Parties!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

1,000th View!

So, this may seem lame to some, but I just had my 1000th view of my blog! (Since I started using sitemeter, that is.) I had some before then, but didn't know I needed that particular technology.

1,000! WAHOO!!!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

From the Mouths of Babes...

Tonight, as I snuggled with JMonster, I read to him from his children's picture Bible.  I thought it appropriate to read about Easter, but began with the page prior to it where Jesus is on the cross.  (We hadn't been able to read his Bible for a couple of nights because of how late he was going to we hadn't done our Good Friday reading.)

We had friends over for dinner and were sitting in the living room talking after we put JMonster down for bed.  We heard JMonster talking and assumed he was calling for us, so The Rev went up to check on him.  This is the story he told us when he returned.

"I went into his room and JMonster looked up at me and asked why I was coming in his room.  I told him that we thought he had called us and he said, No.  I didn't call you.  I was praying. 
The Rev:  Oh really?  What were you praying for? 
JMonster:  I was praying for someone who died. 
The Rev:  Who died buddy? 
JMonster:  Jesus died, Daddy.  And there were nails... and a cross...and blood.  And nails are BAD.  And the cross is BAD.  And blood is BAD.
The Rev:  Oh.
Jmonster:  But God came and took the nails away.  And then He gave Jesus a bed."

What a sweet, sweet sound it is to hear a child pray when you put them to bed. How much more powerful is it when you find out they are praying ON THEIR OWN, and for things you didn't even suggest they pray for.

Lord, thank you for the sweet reminder of the faith of a child. Amen

The Easter Bunny...

Matthew 28:1-10
After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb. There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men.

The angel said to the women, "Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples: 'He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.' Now I have told you."

So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples. Suddenly Jesus met them. "Greetings," he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him. Then Jesus said to them, "Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me."

Because of our love for all things holiday, we still celebrate with The Easter Bunny coming to visit our home.  And Santa.  And when the time comes, so will the Tooth Fairy. 

I leave you with these Easter jokes, and general info on chocolate, found at


It was following the resurrection and disciples were still somewhat scattered about Jerusalem and the surrounding villages. John finds Peter and runs up to him. Excitedly he says, "Peter, Peter! I've got some good news and some bad news."

Peter takes ahold of John and calms him down. "Take it easy, John. What is it? What's the good news?"

John says, "The good news is Christ is risen."

Peter says, "That's great! But, what's the bad news?"

John, looking around, says, "He's really steamed about last Friday."


A friend was in front of me coming out of church one day, and the preacher was standing at the door as he always is to shake hands. He grabbed my friend by the hand and pulled him aside. The Pastor said, "You need to join the Army of the Lord!"

My friend said, "I'm already in the Army of the Lord, Pastor."

Pastor questioned, "How come I don't see you except at Christmas and Easter?"

He whispered back, "I'm in the Secret Service!"

The Rules of Chocolate

If you get melted chocolate all over your hands, you're eating it too slowly.

Chocolate covered raisins, cherries, orange slices and strawberries all count as fruit, so eat as many as you want.

The problem: How to get two pounds of chocolate home from the store in a hot car.
The solution: Eat it in the parking lot.

Diet tip: Eat a chocolate bar before each meal.
It'll take the edge off your appetite and you'll eat less.

A nice box of chocolates can provide your total daily intake of calories in one place. Isn't that handy?

If you can't eat all your chocolate, it will keep in the freezer. But if you can't eat all your chocolate, what is wrong with you?

If calories are an issue, store your chocolate on top of the fridge. Calories are afraid of heights, and they will jump out of the chocolate to protect themselves.

Money talks. Chocolate sings.

Chocolate has many preservatives. Preservatives make you look younger.

Why is there no such organization as Chocoholics Anonymous?
Because no one wants to quit.

Put "eat chocolate" at the top of your list of things to do today. That way, at least you'll get one thing done.

Chocolate is a health food. Chocolate is derived from cacao beans. Bean = vegetable. Sugar is derived either from sugar beets or cane, both vegetables. And, of course, the milk/cream is dairy. So eat more chocolate to meet the dietary requirements for daily vegetable and dairy intake.


Friday, April 10, 2009

Good? Friday

Today I'd just like to share with you the scripture concerning Jesus' arrest, sentencing, and crucifixion.  The Rev, JMonster, and I are grateful for the sacrifice that our Lord, Jesus Christ, made for us on the cross.  We are humbled that He loves us so much that He was willing to die for each of us.  As Easter comes upon us, let us remember that sacrifice and love, and be moved to share it with others.

John 18-19 (New International Version)

John 18

Jesus Arrested
 1When he had finished praying, Jesus left with his disciples and crossed the Kidron Valley. On the other side there was an olive grove, and he and his disciples went into it.

 2Now Judas, who betrayed him, knew the place, because Jesus had often met there with his disciples. 3So Judas came to the grove, guiding a detachment of soldiers and some officials from the chief priests and Pharisees. They were carrying torches, lanterns and weapons.

 4Jesus, knowing all that was going to happen to him, went out and asked them, "Who is it you want?"

 5"Jesus of Nazareth," they replied.

   "I am he," Jesus said. (And Judas the traitor was standing there with them.) 6When Jesus said, "I am he," they drew back and fell to the ground.

 7Again he asked them, "Who is it you want?"
      And they said, "Jesus of Nazareth."

 8"I told you that I am he," Jesus answered. "If you are looking for me, then let these men go." 9This happened so that the words he had spoken would be fulfilled: "I have not lost one of those you gave me."

 10Then Simon Peter, who had a sword, drew it and struck the high priest's servant, cutting off his right ear. (The servant's name was Malchus.)

 11Jesus commanded Peter, "Put your sword away! Shall I not drink the cup the Father has given me?"

Jesus Taken to Annas
 12Then the detachment of soldiers with its commander and the Jewish officials arrested Jesus. They bound him 13and brought him first to Annas, who was the father-in-law of Caiaphas, the high priest that year. 14Caiaphas was the one who had advised the Jews that it would be good if one man died for the people.
Peter's First Denial
 15Simon Peter and another disciple were following Jesus. Because this disciple was known to the high priest, he went with Jesus into the high priest's courtyard, 16but Peter had to wait outside at the door. The other disciple, who was known to the high priest, came back, spoke to the girl on duty there and brought Peter in.

 17"You are not one of his disciples, are you?" the girl at the door asked Peter.
      He replied, "I am not."

 18It was cold, and the servants and officials stood around a fire they had made to keep warm. Peter also was standing with them, warming himself.

The High Priest Questions Jesus
 19Meanwhile, the high priest questioned Jesus about his disciples and his teaching.

 20"I have spoken openly to the world," Jesus replied. "I always taught in synagogues or at the temple, where all the Jews come together. I said nothing in secret. 21Why question me? Ask those who heard me. Surely they know what I said."

 22When Jesus said this, one of the officials nearby struck him in the face. "Is this the way you answer the high priest?" he demanded.

 23"If I said something wrong," Jesus replied, "testify as to what is wrong. But if I spoke the truth, why did you strike me?" 24Then Annas sent him, still bound, to Caiaphas the high priest.

Peter's Second and Third Denials
 25As Simon Peter stood warming himself, he was asked, "You are not one of his disciples, are you?"
      He denied it, saying, "I am not."

 26One of the high priest's servants, a relative of the man whose ear Peter had cut off, challenged him, "Didn't I see you with him in the olive grove?" 27Again Peter denied it, and at that moment a rooster began to crow.

Jesus Before Pilate
 28Then the Jews led Jesus from Caiaphas to the palace of the Roman governor. By now it was early morning, and to avoid ceremonial uncleanness the Jews did not enter the palace; they wanted to be able to eat the Passover. 29So Pilate came out to them and asked, "What charges are you bringing against this man?"

 30"If he were not a criminal," they replied, "we would not have handed him over to you."

 31Pilate said, "Take him yourselves and judge him by your own law."

   "But we have no right to execute anyone," the Jews objected. 32This happened so that the words Jesus had spoken indicating the kind of death he was going to die would be fulfilled.

 33Pilate then went back inside the palace, summoned Jesus and asked him, "Are you the king of the Jews?"

 34"Is that your own idea," Jesus asked, "or did others talk to you about me?"

 35"Am I a Jew?" Pilate replied. "It was your people and your chief priests who handed you over to me. What is it you have done?"

 36Jesus said, "My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jews. But now my kingdom is from another place."

 37"You are a king, then!" said Pilate.
      Jesus answered, "You are right in saying I am a king. In fact, for this reason I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me."

 38"What is truth?" Pilate asked. With this he went out again to the Jews and said, "I find no basis for a charge against him. 39But it is your custom for me to release to you one prisoner at the time of the Passover. Do you want me to release 'the king of the Jews'?"

 40They shouted back, "No, not him! Give us Barabbas!" Now Barabbas had taken part in a rebellion.

John 19

Jesus Sentenced to be Crucified
 1Then Pilate took Jesus and had him flogged. 2The soldiers twisted together a crown of thorns and put it on his head. They clothed him in a purple robe 3and went up to him again and again, saying, "Hail, king of the Jews!" And they struck him in the face.

 4Once more Pilate came out and said to the Jews, "Look, I am bringing him out to you to let you know that I find no basis for a charge against him." 5When Jesus came out wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe, Pilate said to them, "Here is the man!"

 6As soon as the chief priests and their officials saw him, they shouted, "Crucify! Crucify!"
      But Pilate answered, "You take him and crucify him. As for me, I find no basis for a charge against him."

 7The Jews insisted, "We have a law, and according to that law he must die, because he claimed to be the Son of God."

 8When Pilate heard this, he was even more afraid, 9and he went back inside the palace. "Where do you come from?" he asked Jesus, but Jesus gave him no answer. 10"Do you refuse to speak to me?" Pilate said. "Don't you realize I have power either to free you or to crucify you?"

 11Jesus answered, "You would have no power over me if it were not given to you from above. Therefore the one who handed me over to you is guilty of a greater sin."

 12From then on, Pilate tried to set Jesus free, but the Jews kept shouting, "If you let this man go, you are no friend of Caesar. Anyone who claims to be a king opposes Caesar."

 13When Pilate heard this, he brought Jesus out and sat down on the judge's seat at a place known as the Stone Pavement (which in Aramaic is Gabbatha). 14It was the day of Preparation of Passover Week, about the sixth hour.
      "Here is your king," Pilate said to the Jews.

 15But they shouted, "Take him away! Take him away! Crucify him!"
      "Shall I crucify your king?" Pilate asked.
      "We have no king but Caesar," the chief priests answered.

 16Finally Pilate handed him over to them to be crucified.

The Crucifixion
    So the soldiers took charge of Jesus. 17Carrying his own cross, he went out to the place of the Skull (which in Aramaic is called Golgotha). 18Here they crucified him, and with him two others—one on each side and Jesus in the middle.

 19Pilate had a notice prepared and fastened to the cross. It read:|sc JESUS OF NAZARETH, THE KING OF THE JEWS. 20Many of the Jews read this sign, for the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city, and the sign was written in Aramaic, Latin and Greek. 21The chief priests of the Jews protested to Pilate, "Do not write 'The King of the Jews,' but that this man claimed to be king of the Jews."

 22Pilate answered, "What I have written, I have written."

 23When the soldiers crucified Jesus, they took his clothes, dividing them into four shares, one for each of them, with the undergarment remaining. This garment was seamless, woven in one piece from top to bottom.

 24"Let's not tear it," they said to one another. "Let's decide by lot who will get it."
      This happened that the scripture might be fulfilled which said,
   "They divided my garments among them
      and cast lots for my clothing." So this is what the soldiers did.

 25Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother, his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. 26When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, "Dear woman, here is your son," 27and to the disciple, "Here is your mother." From that time on, this disciple took her into his home.

The Death of Jesus
 28Later, knowing that all was now completed, and so that the Scripture would be fulfilled, Jesus said, "I am thirsty." 29A jar of wine vinegar was there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put the sponge on a stalk of the hyssop plant, and lifted it to Jesus' lips. 30When he had received the drink, Jesus said, "It is finished." With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.

 31Now it was the day of Preparation, and the next day was to be a special Sabbath. Because the Jews did not want the bodies left on the crosses during the Sabbath, they asked Pilate to have the legs broken and the bodies taken down. 32The soldiers therefore came and broke the legs of the first man who had been crucified with Jesus, and then those of the other. 33But when they came to Jesus and found that he was already dead, they did not break his legs. 34Instead, one of the soldiers pierced Jesus' side with a spear, bringing a sudden flow of blood and water. 35The man who saw it has given testimony, and his testimony is true. He knows that he tells the truth, and he testifies so that you also may believe. 36These things happened so that the scripture would be fulfilled: "Not one of his bones will be broken," 37and, as another scripture says, "They will look on the one they have pierced."

The Burial of Jesus
 38Later, Joseph of Arimathea asked Pilate for the body of Jesus. Now Joseph was a disciple of Jesus, but secretly because he feared the Jews. With Pilate's permission, he came and took the body away. 39He was accompanied by Nicodemus, the man who earlier had visited Jesus at night. Nicodemus brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about seventy-five pounds. 40Taking Jesus' body, the two of them wrapped it, with the spices, in strips of linen. This was in accordance with Jewish burial customs. 41At the place where Jesus was crucified, there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb, in which no one had ever been laid. 42Because it was the Jewish day of Preparation and since the tomb was nearby, they laid Jesus there.

Although this day is ultimately good for us, I'm not quite sure who had the audacity to label it Good Friday. Black Friday would be more appropriate, in my mind.

Blogs (UPDATED!)

Now that I've had my blog for just under 2 months (okay 1 month and 23 days to be exact), I've been reading other people's blogs to get hints and ideas for mine.  You bet I'm not above snooping and stealing!  Except, there are many, many blogs out there that have me wondering...

Why is it that so many of the "mom" blogs I've been reading have resorted to using their blog as a product review site?  They have fun giveaways, I guess, but is that REALLY what blogging is about now?  What's even more frustrating is finding a site that has a great post and then they don't have a "real" post for days and days because they fill their site with reviews and giveaways and trendy "non-topics".

Where am I supposed to steal my best stuff from, people, if you aren't providing me fodder?

I'm sure I've now ticked off the 2 people I've managed to get to read my blog outside of my family.  Oh well, it was bound to happen...

UPDATE: After a brief discussion with my husband, I am issuing an apology for saying that blogs where people who do reviews on their blogs aren't really blogs. They ARE blogs, just not the content I prefer to read. So, I retract this statement (but still want to know WHY so many people feel the need to do these reviews. Can anyone tell me that?!?).